With Belle Isle Fountain turning back on, Detroit Grand Prix goes virtual

Belle Isle's famed Scott Fountain's birthday is around the corner. But unlike previous years, no one will be around to celebrate it.

Normally timed with the Detroit Grand Prix, the James Scott Memorial Fountain's water systems are turned on ahead of the race start. Of course, with COVID-19 lockdowns still in place, that won't be happening as planned.

But that doesn't mean some traditions can't still be upheld - which is why Belle Isle's fountains will still spout water on its 95th birthday as the annual race takes its competition online. 

"It's not as simple as just flipping a switch, right? Lot of valves under there, lot of work that needs to be done, our friends at DTE do a great job every year," said Michael Montri, President of the Detroit Grand Prix.

The monument was first completed in 1925, costing $500,000 to complete. It measures 510 feet in diameter and its middle spout sprays water as far as 125 feet.

To commemorate the race, which would have started today before being canceled, race organizers are hosting a Detroit's first-ever virtual Grand Prix.

"We decided to have the Grand Prix anyways, but it's virtual. We wanted to give everybody the opportunity to participate," Denker said. "So what we're asking is give your ideal two laps via social media."

Your ideal two laps - What car would you drive? Who would you race? Where would you race? There are lots of variables to include when discussing one's ideal Grand Prix. 

Once you have your fantasy planned, take those details to social media and post them, making sure to include #My2Laps at #DetroitGP.

For every tweet or post that goes live, the organization will donate money to Belle Isle's Conservancy.